UN and Africa Special: Human rights issues in South Sudan, DRC and Somalia

“Pattern of excessive use of force” against dissenting voices in DRC

There has been a pattern of excessive use of force in the repression of dissenting voices across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a senior UN official in the country has warned. Jose Maria Aranaz, the Director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO, the UN Mission in the DRC, made the remarks on Wednesday. A report by his office found that defence and security forces used “excessive, disproportionate and at times lethal force” to prevent and contain protests in December 2016. The fact that lethal weapons are deployed for crowd control is one of the reasons why so many people were killed and injured, Mr Aranaz told me.

Somali Human rights must not take back seat to security concerns

Human rights must not end up being a “secondary consideration” as the new Somali government focusses on securing and stabilizing the country. That’s what Kirsten Young, the Chief of Human Rights for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) told members of the Security Council in her brief on the situation in the country. Journalists, human rights defenders and political leaders have been killed, arrested and harassed, a report by her office on freedom of expression in Somalia has found. However, it also noted the country’s progress in making government more accountable and widening the political space for Somalis to air their views. Ms Young told me how the so-called “security exception” is often invoked to supress human rights.

People in South Sudan “live in fear”, warns human rights expert

People in South Sudan are “living in fear” because of ethnically-based killings and other violations such as rape, arbitrary arrests and kidnappings, the Director of Human Rights at the UN Mission in South Sudan has said. Eugene Nindorera, who is also the representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the African country, was recently in New York to brief Member States on the situation of there. The violence has continued unabated since forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to then Vice President Riek Machar started fighting again in July 2016. It has now spread from the capital, Juba, to the oil-producing Unity State, to previously unaffected areas like the Greater Equatoria Region. Mr Nindorera sat down with me to discuss in detail the violations that are taking place in the country.

Presenter: Jocelyne Sambira

Production Assistant: Sandra Guy

Duration: 10’00?

Source: United Nations Radio